Adam Yauch, of the ledgendary hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 47. Yauch, also known as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009. The rapper was diagnosed in 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland.

"It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam 'MCA' Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer," reads an official statement from the Beastie Boys. "He was 47 years old."

In addition to the Beastie Boys, Yauch was involved in  the movement to free Tibet. A founder of the Milarepa Fund, Yauch was  instrumental in the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate  Park 1996, which drew 100,000 people. After 9/11, Yauch and the Beastie Boys organized New Yorkers  Against Violence, a concert benefit for some of the victims least likely to  receive help from elsewhere.

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